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A Summer Nature Camp For Kids


Announcement: Carleton College is pleased to announce a new collaboration with the Northfield Area Family YMCA. Prairie and Wood will now be managed by the Northfield YMCA. The Prairie and Wood program will continue its long tradition of providing unique summer day-camp experiences for the youth in our community.

The curricular components of the program will remain unchanged with a focus on creating a fun, cooperate learning environment that fosters an appreciation of nature. Space will continue to be utilized at the Farm House, and Carleton students will be actively recruited to participate in the planning, curriculum, and administration of activities for the children in the program. In turn, the Northfield YMCA will add its resources and programming expertise to make the Prairie and Wood experience even better.

For over 33 years, the Prairie and Wood program at Carleton has provided hundreds of children memories for a lifetime. We look forward to working with the YMCA in this endeavor and invite you to participate this summer.

For more information about the program, and to register for this summer's sessions, please visit the Northfield YMCA's sign-up page at

If you have any questions, please contact Virginia Kaczmarek at the YMCA (507-645-0088 or

Prairie and Wood (PAW) is an outdoor summer day camp for kids. The program involves participation in a wide range of activities which encourage imagination, curiosity, and group interaction. The camp is designed to be a fun, cooperative learning environment that fosters an appreciation of nature and an understanding of the importance of creating a thoughtful relationship with the natural world.

PAW activities include:

  • exploring nearby prairie, woodland, bog, marsh, lake, and river ecosystems
  • learning about rocks, trees, animals, and other natural phenomena
  • reading and telling stories
  • creating environmental arts and crafts projects
  • participating in games and other activities that emphasize cooperation
  • making music
  • baking
  • conducting exciting experiments
  • going on field trips to local parks, farms, fossil sites, etc.
  • making new friends and having a fun and educational summer!
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